Safety is an important feature in a senior's apartment unit. Whether living totally independently or in an assisted living facility, it's always important to ensure that a senior's living space is free of hazards. If you have a senior loved one who is currently residing in an apartment, these tips can help you ensure that your loved one is safe in their apartment.
As people age, their eyesight can degrade. This can lead to accidents in the home, especially if the lighting inside is not bright enough. There are many basic things you can do to ensure that your senior loved one has enough light with which to see.
- Pull back blinds and replace heavy curtains with sheers.
- Replace dark pieces of furniture with lighter colored furniture to brighten small, dark rooms.
- Install small lamps in each room, and plug them into a light-switch controlled outlet.
- Move or get rid of anything that blocks light and creates shadows inside.
- Replace dim light bulbs with the brightest light bulbs that can safely be installed in each light fixture.
- Replace burned out light bulbs with fresh ones.
After going through the entire apartment and fixing all light-related problems, walk through the apartment to do a final assessment to ensure that your loved one's apartment is as well-lit as possible.
Clear Away Clutter
Clutter can create a variety of problems for seniors. It can become a tripping hazard or a fire hazard. Clutter can also harbor dust and exacerbate allergies. For seniors who have mobility issues, clutter can make getting from one room to another a challenge.
Clearing away clutter is an important part of keeping a senior's apartment safe. To do this, you'll need to work with your senior loved one to ensure that the clutter is eliminated properly. Some clutter (old pieces of paper and periodicals) can be thrown away or recycled, but other types of clutter (useful items) can be given to charities or to people who might need it.
Pick Up Tripping Hazards
Rugs and extension cords can become a tripping hazard in an apartment with a senior. Move cords to the outer edges of the room, preferably behind furniture where they will never be in the path of your senior loved one. Tape down any rugs in the apartment or remove them from walkways to prevent them from becoming a tripping hazard as well.
Cut Back Visual Confusion
As seniors age and their eyesight begins to fail, reflective and bright surfaces can create visual confusion that can lead to accidents. Cut back on the number of mirrors in the home except in the most obvious places, like the bedroom or bathroom.
Angle mirrors in such a way that they will not reflect bright lights in the room. Encourage your senior loved one to avoid installing decorations that are glittery or shiny, as these objects can become a distraction that could lead to accidents.
Create Clear Walkways
Remove any low furniture that could block walkways. Coffee tables can become a tripping hazard and may not be appropriate in a senior's apartment. Push all chairs back to the perimeter of each room to ensure there is a large, open space in the center of each space.
Seniors with walkers may need extra room. Work with your senior loved one to ensure they have the space they need to sit down and get up from their favorite chairs.
Work with the Assisted Living Facility
If your senior loved one is living in an assisted living facility, they can help make your the apartment safer for your loved one. For more information about senior safety, contact Oakridge Gardens Nursing Center.